It was a day of many emotions. I look at Gianna now and see how happy she is, and how well she is doing, and I don't feel afraid. But then I remember how much work was involved to get here....the appointments and paper work and surgery and researching and worry. Some of that will be different this time, because we've already been in this place. But a lot will be new. I've never had an infant with hearing aids, I've never walked this journey from the beginning; Gianna was 14 months old when she was officially diagnosed with a profound hearing loss.
For the moment we are soaking it all in and dusting off our ASL. I feel very strongly that I want to communicate right now with Pia and I don't want to wait until we get amplification straightened out. When I picked G up from school I gave her the news and her face lit up. "Really?? REALLY??? Deaf like me??!! I will show her how to go to my school, will she get implants like me?"
Gianna was the person I wanted to share the news with the most; I knew the only reaction I would get from her would be unmitigated joy. She doesn't see herself as having a disability. Her Deafness is a fact to her in the same way she would say, "I am a girl. I am in kindergarten." It is not a negative. And it's with that spirit that I'd like to state, "Pia Catherine is a girl. She is 7 weeks old. She is Deaf."
This morning, Gianna was laying on my bed with Pia and Brad walked in to see Gianna with her magnets pulled off, signing happily. Brad asked her if she took her ears off on purpose and Gianna smiled shyly and explained,"Yes....so we can be the same."
I find that so powerful. A family burdened again with disability and yet... they are able to minimize that burden, even find joy in it.
From whence does that strength come from? The young mother's profile gives a hint:
I have a husband named Brad. We live in a suburb of the Nati and have 2 kids thus far; Gianna (2007) and Dominic (2010). G was born profoundly Deaf and uses cochlear implants to hear and speak. We also use American Sign Language when called for..middle of the night, the pool, at Mass when I need to lay the smack down, but silently. I am addicted to ice cream and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I admit to a soft spot for the traditional Latin Mass, have a tattoo, and do lots of "weird" things like give birth in my house whilst listening to Gregorian chant. I'm tricky tricky that way.
On the blogroll she goes as I suspect there'll be things to learn from this young lady.